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Irsay was not at fault for moving the colts?


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43 minutes ago, PeacefulEasonFeeling said:

I’ve been a Colts fan since the Sixties and believe a 1000% the move was justified and absolutely had to go down like it did. I was born in Indiana, though, so I’m sure it was easier for me than some others. It still makes me laugh that when we play Baltimore in their house they won’t put “Colts” or even “Indianapolis” on the scoreboard... just “Visitors”. Lol: let it go.

My personal favorite is how they defend “stealing” the Browns in the same way.  It was the only way they could get a team.  Well samething with Indianapolis.  Yet Indianapolis is evil for it but the city of Baltimore “had” to do it.  Yeah I know the Irsays kept the name and team history and Modell didn’t.  That’s the owners choice.  He’s called an Owner because he owns it as much as some don’t like hearing that.

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- lets get out of Baltimore as quick as possible Mr Irsay, ok watch this maneuvering.

We've talked about this so much

But its a story that must be brought up from time to time to remind us blessed we are to have this team  

44 minutes ago, Fluke_33 said:

I was hoping you'd give a professional opinion on that driving.  So impressive even with an empty trailer.

I am very impressed with his reflexes. Not everyone has the quick impulse he showed. 

The only reason I brought up the lack of weight was the trailer and tractor would have flipped on it's side had it had any substantial weight in it.

Of course the driver is very skilled but luck had a lot to do with it. I am sure the driver himself would agree. 

 

I myself have had a few close calls but never quite that close. lol. 

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I was 14, it sucked for me. Grew up with Redskins fan all around and a bunch of Colts haters after the move. Don't forget, the MLB Orioles were pretty good at that time. The Colts had become perennial losers and didn't have the backing like the Orioles.

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Let me put this out there. If say you owned the Colts. Would you let some politicians seize your team. My answer is heck no. They own the team and have the right to do as they see fit with there team. No one mentions memorial stadium were  the Colts where playing in which was at dispute at the time. I have been to memorial stadium and it was horrible for players as well as fans. Seats right behind pillers that held up the upper deck. I'm talking about 2ft concrete pillers. The bathrooms had trofts for toilets to take a leak in and they didn't drain. Talk about gross. Baltimore city council didn't care. Only thing they cared about was revenue. I am 59 years old and when they left I said at the time it was the right move and I still say that. I been a Colt fan my whole life and live in Va. So going to a Colt game was a road trip 5 hrs or so. The last game I went to in baltimore was when the Colts were in the AFC east and our arch rival was the Dolphins. Bob Griece was the dolphin qb with Zonks at rb and there defence was the killer bees. The Colts had Burt Jones at qb Liddell Mitchell at rb Roger Carr at wideout . Big time match up  and big time game. Baltimore fans didn't like Irsays and only a little over 5000 fans in the stands. And no it wasn't due to covid. The people in baltimore made there own bed and Robert Irsay did what was best for his team. I repeat his team.

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I used to be one of those salty fans, but I guess if you look at it, if we hadn’t lost the Colts, we wouldn’t have the Ravens. I’m understand  with the business aspects of the move, but I wish Irsay had left the logos and history behind.

I’m pretty familiar with what happened as I’ve been a Baltimore football fan, Colts and Ravens, for a long time. The biggest mistake Baltimore made was not building Bob Irsay a stadium, but Carroll Rosenbloom , who was a great owner and won four Championships.

As far as eminent domain, it wasn’t the smartest move, but the politicians in Baltimore now are no smarter than they were in 1983. 
The reason the eminent domain went down was because Irsay was making carnival like visits to Indy, Phoenix , and Jacksonville , with the press chasing him around. By 1983, the politicos thought he was definitely going to move, thus the ill advised eminent domain. 
To me, Bob Irsay was one of the worst owners I’ve seen in my lifetime. That is born out by his record, the Elway debacle, and many other stories. That being said, as an Oriole’s fan, I’ve had to relive it with the inept Peter Angelos. It’s a more complicated historical story than many realize. There was plenty of fault on both sides as to why the move happened. I guess in the end, it all worked out as it was supposed to be. 
 

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7 minutes ago, Bert Johns said:

Let me put this out there. If say you owned the Colts. Would you let some politicians seize your team. My answer is heck no. They own the team and have the right to do as they see fit with there team. No one mentions memorial stadium were  the Colts where playing in which was at dispute at the time. I have been to memorial stadium and it was horrible for players as well as fans. Seats right behind pillers that held up the upper deck. I'm talking about 2ft concrete pillers. The bathrooms had trofts for toilets to take a leak in and they didn't drain. Talk about gross. Baltimore city council didn't care. Only thing they cared about was revenue. I am 59 years old and when they left I said at the time it was the right move and I still say that. I been a Colt fan my whole life and live in Va. So going to a Colt game was a road trip 5 hrs or so. The last game I went to in baltimore was when the Colts were in the AFC east and our arch rival was the Dolphins. Bob Griece was the dolphin qb with Zonks at rb and there defence was the killer bees. The Colts had Burt Jones at qb Liddell Mitchell at rb Roger Carr at wideout . Big time match up  and big time game. Baltimore fans didn't like Irsays and only a little over 5000 fans in the stands. And no it wasn't due to covid. The people in baltimore made there own bed and Robert Irsay did what was best for his team. I repeat his team.

You leave out all the sellouts in Baltimore between 1958-1972. Also, trading Unitas without giving him a call. Trading off Jones, Carr, Dutton for nothing. Art Schlitchter , the John Elway debacle. 
Almost all Colt fans that went to Indy, I guarantee weren’t from Baltimore . Also, Indy attendance was slipping between 84-97 under Irsay. Hopelessness does that to fan attendance. If you want to look at this through the prism of history, you need to understand the whole story. 

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1 minute ago, The Old Crow said:

You leave out all the sellouts in Baltimore between 1958-1972. Also, trading Unitas without giving him a call. Trading off Jones, Carr, Dutton for nothing. Art Schlitchter , the John Elway debacle. 
Almost all Colt fans that went to Indy, I guarantee weren’t from Baltimore . Also, Indy attendance was slipping between 84-97 under Irsay. Hopelessness does that to fan attendance. If you want to look at this through the prism of history, you need to understand the whole story. 

I won’t defend Bob Irsay (let’s not forget Indianapolis had to put up with his nonsense for 10 years too) he was one of the worst owners in the history of sports.  However, I will say the city of Baltimore forced his hand.  I think there’s a reason no other city has tried that sense.  

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Just now, GoColts8818 said:

I won’t defend Bob Irsay (let’s not forget Indianapolis had to put up with his nonsense for 10 years too) he was one of the worst owners in the history of sports.  However, I will say the city of Baltimore forced his hand.  I think there’s a reason no other city has tried that sense.  

As I said, the biggest mistake was the lack of stadium. We should have built it for Rosenbloom, but once they traded franchises , they should have built one for Irsay. That was the main point, it was all about money and revenue. 
I believe Irsay would have moved eminent domain , or not. The reason Baltimore brought eminent domain is because they thought it was a done deal that he was going to move, based on the negotiations he and Chernoff were having in numerous cities. You have to also remember he was still making money in Baltimore, just not as much as he possibly could in another city. The attendance was depressed because of the product on the field , destroying the mid- seventies teams, Elway, the helicopter drop in at Jacksonville, etc. I’m not defending eminent domain , but just explaining what led up to it, as well as low Colt attendance at the time. 
 

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1 hour ago, The Old Crow said:

As I said, the biggest mistake was the lack of stadium. We should have built it for Rosenbloom, but once they traded franchises , they should have built one for Irsay. That was the main point, it was all about money and revenue. 
I believe Irsay would have moved eminent domain , or not. The reason Baltimore brought eminent domain is because they thought it was a done deal that he was going to move, based on the negotiations he and Chernoff were having in numerous cities. You have to also remember he was still making money in Baltimore, just not as much as he possibly could in another city. The attendance was depressed because of the product on the field , destroying the mid- seventies teams, Elway, the helicopter drop in at Jacksonville, etc. I’m not defending eminent domain , but just explaining what led up to it, as well as low Colt attendance at the time. 
 

He may have very well moved the franchise either way but by declaring Eminent Domain it forced his hand to do it.  Again I am not defending Bob Irsay, man was a horrible owner and I am so glad his son is nothing like him.  I am just saying the city forced his hand rather he was going to do it or not.  Irsay is clearly not blameless in this but neither is the city of Baltimore.  There is a reason no other city has tried that after Baltimore did.  They learned the lesson.  

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32 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

He may have very well moved the franchise either way but by declaring Eminent Domain it forced his hand to do it.  Again I am not defending Bob Irsay, man was a horrible owner and I am so glad his son is nothing like him.  I am just saying the city forced his hand rather he was going to do it or not.  Irsay is clearly not blameless in this but neither is the city of Baltimore.  There is a reason no other city has tried that after Baltimore did.  They learned the lesson.  

My opinion is both were to blame. I’m not a fan of eminent domain, and it no doubt played a role in the move. Irsay was saying he was moving as early as 1977 to LA. Then he was talking to Memphis , Jacksonville, Phoenix, and finally Indy. I’m not defending Baltimore’s actions , but they were so spooked by Irsay’s constant movement threats, that on March 27, 1984 they enacted this legislation to actually prevent Irsay from moving to Phoenix ! It was more a threat than anything, and it worked ,as Phoenix backed out. Irsay called Hudnut on March 28, 1984 and left for Indy. The thought in Baltimore was Irsay was going to pull the trigger, and the eminent domain was the last chance to stop him. The eminent domain was thrown out not because it didn’t have merit, but because the Colts had snuck out in the middle of the night, and were no longer domained in Baltimore. So you need to thank Baltimore for eminent domain , or you may have had the Phoenix Colts. 
So really, it was all about the stadium , money, and revenue. That is the lesson. Baltimore quickly put up Camden Yards after the move. Cleveland, St Louis, San Diego , and Oakland lost teams because of antiquated stadiums. So hats off to Indy for building stadiums. You got the Colts by doing it, and you kept them from going to LA by building another. Attendance, eminent domain, etc are just distractions . It’s all about having an updated stadium and increasing revenues for the owner. The lesson is any community, except Green Bay, has to play by these rules , or lose their community team, when an owner decides they need more revenue from

the city. It is the way it is. 

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23 minutes ago, The Old Crow said:

My opinion is both were to blame. I’m not a fan of eminent domain, and it no doubt played a role in the move. Irsay was saying he was moving as early as 1977 to LA. Then he was talking to Memphis , Jacksonville, Phoenix, and finally Indy. I’m not defending Baltimore’s actions , but they were so spooked by Irsay’s constant movement threats, that on March 27, 1984 they enacted this legislation to actually prevent Irsay from moving to Phoenix ! It was more a threat than anything, and it worked ,as Phoenix backed out. Irsay called Hudnut on March 28, 1984 and left for Indy. The thought in Baltimore was Irsay was going to pull the trigger, and the eminent domain was the last chance to stop him. The eminent domain was thrown out not because it didn’t have merit, but because the Colts had snuck out in the middle of the night, and were no longer domained in Baltimore. So you need to thank Baltimore for eminent domain , or you may have had the Phoenix Colts. 
So really, it was all about the stadium , money, and revenue. That is the lesson. Baltimore quickly put up Camden Yards after the move. Cleveland, St Louis, San Diego , and Oakland lost teams because of antiquated stadiums. So hats off to Indy for building stadiums. You got the Colts by doing it, and you kept them from going to LA by building another. Attendance, eminent domain, etc are just distractions . It’s all about having an updated stadium and increasing revenues for the owner. The lesson is any community, except Green Bay, has to play by these rules , or lose their community team, when an owner decides they need more revenue from

the city. It is the way it is. 

Without question it worked out for the city of Indianapolis.  I know other teams had moved before the Colts did but that was the one the started the modern moving in sports and set the rules.  Cities learned a lot of lessons from it.  Two major ones stick out.  One was don’t do eminent domain and the other is if you want your team to stay and they ask for a new stadium be prepared to build them one.  

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26 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

Without question it worked out for the city of Indianapolis.  I know other teams had moved before the Colts did but that was the one the started the modern moving in sports and set the rules.  Cities learned a lot of lessons from it.  Two major ones stick out.  One was don’t do eminent domain and the other is if you want your team to stay and they ask for a new stadium be prepared to build them one.  

The weird thing most don’t know about the eminent domain was that the city of Baltimore was going to wire Irsay 40 million for buying the team, then sell it back from local investors. 
This was the final act that started with the odd trade between Rosenbloom and Irsay swapping the Colts for the Rams in 1972. The guy that was going to buy the Rams before this happened was Hugh Culverhouse, who was later compensated with the Tampa Bay franchise. 
Another thing many don’t know is that Carroll Rosenbloom got Irsay involved in the team swap to save 3 million in taxes , if he just sold the team. He tried the same kind of tax avoidance scheme when he owned the Rams , putting a majority share in Georgia Frontiere’s name , to get tax breaks. He didn’t plan on drowning , and his son Steve was fired by the step mother. 
On a side note, Rosenbloom suckered Irsay into providing the Colt’s Super Bowl 5 trophy for a fake Lombardi Trophy display. He kept the trophy, and the Frontiere family still has the plunder. The replica was awarded to the City of Baltimore, and currently resides in the Babe Ruth museum. The original trophy does not have George Young listed on the trophy , while the second one does. 

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10 hours ago, The Old Crow said:

The weird thing most don’t know about the eminent domain was that the city of Baltimore was going to wire Irsay 40 million for buying the team, then sell it back from local investors. 
This was the final act that started with the odd trade between Rosenbloom and Irsay swapping the Colts for the Rams in 1972. The guy that was going to buy the Rams before this happened was Hugh Culverhouse, who was later compensated with the Tampa Bay franchise. 
Another thing many don’t know is that Carroll Rosenbloom got Irsay involved in the team swap to save 3 million in taxes , if he just sold the team. He tried the same kind of tax avoidance scheme when he owned the Rams , putting a majority share in Georgia Frontiere’s name , to get tax breaks. He didn’t plan on drowning , and his son Steve was fired by the step mother. 
On a side note, Rosenbloom suckered Irsay into providing the Colt’s Super Bowl 5 trophy for a fake Lombardi Trophy display. He kept the trophy, and the Frontiere family still has the plunder. The replica was awarded to the City of Baltimore, and currently resides in the Babe Ruth museum. The original trophy does not have George Young listed on the trophy , while the second one does. 

Yes,  Eminent Domain involves compensation to the victim.  Irsay would have walked away with cash that the Baltimore/MD taxpayers would have recouped by selling the team to someone they liked better.  And, IMO, that's really what it was all about.  The city and the fans hated the guy for various reason and they wanted their storied franchise in the city but him out of the picture.  It was a power play but its tough to control somebody who actually owns the team.

 

And, IIRC, other football teams in the NFL already had much better stadiums, where BALT Memorial Stadium may have been the worst in the NFL.  Superdome, Silverdome, Kingdome; even Pitt and Cincy's multi use stadiums were newer. 

 

The national media portrayed Irsay as some evil selfish capitalist oppressing the hard working righteous people of BALT, where he steals their team in the middle of the night.  That was the national media narrative that sold the most copy, go figure.

 

When in fact, although he was an unlikeable guy, there were legitimate business reason for his decisions, number one being that the city of Baltimore failed to compete with other cities on stadiums, and also demanding Irsay separate from the team.  Overreach, IMO.

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On 1/25/2021 at 11:53 PM, 2006Coltsbestever said:

truck GIF- lets get out of Baltimore as quick as possible Mr Irsay, ok watch this maneuvering.

 

Lol. This belongs in the Favorite Gifs thread.

 

Losing the Colts is a sentimental issue for Baltimore Colts fans, many of whom later became Ravens fans. The Ravens have won two Super Bowls and for many, it is not still enough to erase the scar from the Colts' leaving. The irony is that many of them do not feel bad that the Browns moved their team to Baltimore. They will tell you that at least the Browns kept the team name and history in Cleveland. :dunno:

 

Having said that, I recall when Red McCombs of Texas wanted to move the Vikings to San Antonio. I'm not from MN and don't live anywhere near there, but I would have been upset had they moved. I am not sure why, but I would. 

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19 minutes ago, NFLfan said:

 

 

Having said that, I recall when Red McCombs of Texas wanted to move the Vikings to San Antonio. I'm not from MN and don't live anywhere near there, but I would have been upset had they moved. I am not sure why, but I would. 

Its probably natural to be upset, but the feeling of rightful ownership is misplaced, IMO.  It just falls under the broad undeniable truth that you can easily lose what you have if you don't defend it against others who will take it, simply because they want it.  Like all cities, MINN is in constant competition with other cities for anything that is good and they would have lost the Vikings if they did not step up to the plate and replaced the Metrodome.  

 

Just like OAK lost the Raiders, twice, and SD lost the Chargers.

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9 hours ago, DougDew said:

Yes,  Eminent Domain involves compensation to the victim.  Irsay would have walked away with cash that the Baltimore/MD taxpayers would have recouped by selling the team to someone they liked better.  And, IMO, that's really what it was all about.  The city and the fans hated the guy for various reason and they wanted their storied franchise in the city but him out of the picture.  It was a power play but its tough to control somebody who actually owns the team.

 

And, IIRC, other football teams in the NFL already had much better stadiums, where BALT Memorial Stadium may have been the worst in the NFL.  Superdome, Silverdome, Kingdome; even Pitt and Cincy's multi use stadiums were newer. 

 

The national media portrayed Irsay as some evil selfish capitalist oppressing the hard working righteous people of BALT, where he steals their team in the middle of the night.  That was the national media narrative that sold the most copy, go figure.

 

When in fact, although he was an unlikeable guy, there were legitimate business reason for his decisions, number one being that the city of Baltimore failed to compete with other cities on stadiums, and also demanding Irsay separate from the team.  Overreach, IMO.


It was definitely a worst case scenario. A brusk,  Chicago businessman coming into a small eastern seaboard town. I think Irsay took the biggest rap because it was such a historic franchise that was moved. 
The thing that killed Baltimore was when the voters voted down the Baltodome. Once that happened the clock was ticking. 
Baltimore ended up with a nice final proposal on the table, but the well was poisoned on both sides. 
The key to the move was that the NFL wasn’t going to fight a possible Irsay move after losing the court case to Al Davis and the Raiders. It’s actually a pretty interesting NFL history story if you take all the emotions out of it. 
I guess things turned out all right as Indy, Baltimore, and Cleveland all have teams. I feel bad for St Louis and San Diego as we have been down that road in Baltimore. The fans are pretty much in the middle in a dispute between an NFL owner, and the city. 

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9 hours ago, NFLfan said:

 

Lol. This belongs in the Favorite Gifs thread.

 

Losing the Colts is a sentimental issue for Baltimore Colts fans, many of whom later became Ravens fans. The Ravens have won two Super Bowls and for many, it is not still enough to erase the scar from the Colts' leaving. The irony is that many of them do not feel bad that the Browns moved their team to Baltimore. They will tell you that at least the Browns kept the team name and history in Cleveland. :dunno:

 

Having said that, I recall when Red McCombs of Texas wanted to move the Vikings to San Antonio. I'm not from MN and don't live anywhere near there, but I would have been upset had they moved. I am not sure why, but I would. 


I think the feeling is in Baltimore currently is that they love the Ravens, but would love to have the history of the Baltimore Colts back. 
 

I think most of the animosity towards Indianapolis is largely gone, and the Indy Colts are respected as a good franchise in Baltimore. I think through the prism of time, people have excepted the move, but for some older fans, it’s still hard to see that logo and our former history attached to another city. This is no offense to Indy fans as they were just happy to get an NFL team. 
 

As far as Cleveland goes, most in Baltimore felt bad for those fans , and that city, because we actually wanted an expansion team that went to Charlotte and Jacksonville. Out of options, we were also forced to plunder another city. I’m just glad we left the logos and history in Cleveland. To me, any team that leaves should start fresh , in my opinion. 
 

The crazy thing about appropriating another city’s history is that it can create some contradictions. As I was a fan of the Baltimore Colts in 1964, and we lost the NFL Championship game to Cleveland 27-0, should I then claim that its my Championship if the Browns records had gone to the Ravens, and we were suddenly NFL Champions in 1964, instead of the losers  ? Should I be joyous that Jim Brown and Otto Graham were Baltimore franchise greats, when they never played a down for Baltimore. 
If Jim Irsay had taken the Colts to LA, would you enjoy the LA Colts hanging your Indianapolis 2006 Super Bowl banner in LA, or putting Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison in the Hall of Fame under Los Angeles, with the city of Indianapolis erased from where the history occurred ? 
 

So I think we all understand the business reasons why owners leave cities. The hard part is when a team , it’s logos, it’s history, it’s Championships, it’s Hall of Famers, now reside under another city whose fans may have been Bear’s fans at the time, as an example. I know I hate the St Louis Browns baseball records being thrown in with the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. I just wish they would expunge those records, they belong to St Louis. I know not everyone feels this way, but it is a strange situation. Not much you can do about it, but just my observations. 
 


 

 

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1 hour ago, The Old Crow said:


It was definitely a worst case scenario. A brusk,  Chicago businessman coming into a small eastern seaboard town. I think Irsay took the biggest rap because it was such a historic franchise that was moved. 
The thing that killed Baltimore was when the voters voted down the Baltodome. Once that happened the clock was ticking. 
Baltimore ended up with a nice final proposal on the table, but the well was poisoned on both sides. 
The key to the move was that the NFL wasn’t going to fight a possible Irsay move after losing the court case to Al Davis and the Raiders. It’s actually a pretty interesting NFL history story if you take all the emotions out of it. 
I guess things turned out all right as Indy, Baltimore, and Cleveland all have teams. I feel bad for St Louis and San Diego as we have been down that road in Baltimore. The fans are pretty much in the middle in a dispute between an NFL owner, and the city. 

OK, I wondered about that time line.  Al Davis had already set the precedent for a team moving cities (recently).  Couldn't remember if the Raiders or Colts moved first, but knew they were both about the same time.

 

I did not live in Indy or Balt at the time. I got the coverage from the national angle, and Irsay was definitely pegged as the bad player in the situation.  

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6 minutes ago, DougDew said:

OK, I wondered about that time line.  Al Davis had already set the precedent for a team moving cities (recently).  Couldn't remember if the Raiders or Colts moved first, but knew they were both about the same time.

 

I did not live in Indy or Balt at the time. I got the coverage from the national angle, and Irsay was definitely pegged as the bad player in the situation.  

Al Davis was first , setting into motion the Colts move. 
 

I think with Irsay, he was justified in asking for a new stadium ,as Rosenbloom had. The Baltimore politicians, just as they are today, are tone deaf to business growth. 
 

I think he got a bad rap for a number of reasons. He certainly didn’t get a long with the press, which generally ensures you will be depicted as a bad player. He kind of came in like a bull in a China shop. He traded Unitas after the 1972 season, after promising him he would give him a heads up on any trade. He didn’t , and Unitas never forgave him for that. 

There were many instances where he chewed out players , coaches , etc in public. Jim Irsay’s stories bear me out on this. Against Philadelphia, he actually took over from HC Mike McCormick and started calling plays from the press box. He started shopping the Colts around to other city’s as early as 1977. He made a good hire in Joe Thomas as GM, who led the Colts for three division titles in 75-77, then broke up those teams when he wouldn’t pay the top guys like Jones and Carr. He totally botched the John Elway pick which was one of the worst trades in history. 
 

There were many more stories, but those were some of the highlights. I think Irsay was a businessman who didn’t understand the business of the NFL , as far as putting a consistent winner on the field. What he did excel in was getting maximum value for his investment, which he did in spades. He told the fans at the time that it wasn’t your team, it was his, and his families team. That remark proved to be very true in the end. The bottom line was he wasn’t very PR savvy. There are fascinating videos on line showing an old press conference with Baltimore’s then Mayor Schaefer , Irsay, and the press at BWI airport. The press had followed him and Chernoff to Phoenix, and Irsay was denying he was there. So when you have a hostile press , generally you won’t get a break when a move like that occurs. I think the national press took some of the cues from the Baltimore press that were totally at odds with Irsay. In hindsight, some criticism was fair , some was not. It was a long , complicated story, and it’s all history now. 

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19 minutes ago, The Old Crow said:

Al Davis was first , setting into motion the Colts move. 
 

I think with Irsay, he was justified in asking for a new stadium ,as Rosenbloom had. The Baltimore politicians, just as they are today, are tone deaf to business growth. 
 

I think he got a bad rap for a number of reasons. He certainly didn’t get a long with the press, which generally ensures you will be depicted as a bad player. He kind of came in like a bull in a China shop. He traded Unitas after the 1972 season, after promising him he would give him a heads up on any trade. He didn’t , and Unitas never forgave him for that. 

There were many instances where he chewed out players , coaches , etc in public. Jim Irsay’s stories bear me out on this. Against Philadelphia, he actually took over from HC Mike McCormick and started calling plays from the press box. He started shopping the Colts around to other city’s as early as 1977. He made a good hire in Joe Thomas as GM, who led the Colts for three division titles in 75-77, then broke up those teams when he wouldn’t pay the top guys like Jones and Carr. He totally botched the John Elway pick which was one of the worst trades in history. 
 

There were many more stories, but those were some of the highlights. I think Irsay was a businessman who didn’t understand the business of the NFL , as far as putting a consistent winner on the field. What he did excel in was getting maximum value for his investment, which he did in spades. He told the fans at the time that it wasn’t your team, it was his, and his families team. That remark proved to be very true in the end. The bottom line was he wasn’t very PR savvy. There are fascinating videos on line showing an old press conference with Baltimore’s then Mayor Schaefer , Irsay, and the press at BWI airport. The press had followed him and Chernoff to Phoenix, and Irsay was denying he was there. So when you have a hostile press , generally you won’t get a break when a move like that occurs. I think the national press took some of the cues from the Baltimore press that were totally at odds with Irsay. In hindsight, some criticism was fair , some was not. It was a long , complicated story, and it’s all history now. 

I was pretty young when the move happened in 1984, I was 13 before the 1984 season started. I remember the field the Colts played on in Baltimore and it looked bad. Baltimore definitely needed a new stadium. Being 13 years old I was just glad Indianapolis got a team. I have no Baltimore ties (been a Colts fan since 1984) but I am sure that whole city was pee'd off with the move.

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5 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I was pretty young when the move happened in 1984, I was 13 before the 1984 season started. I remember the field the Colts played on in Baltimore and it looked bad. Baltimore definitely needed a new stadium. Being 13 years old I was just glad Indianapolis got a team. I have no Baltimore ties (been a Colts fan since 1984) but I am sure that whole city was pee'd off with the move.

We all loved old Memorial Stadium because of all the great memories, but as others have pointed out, it was outdated with many obstructed views. 
I get as an Indy fan you wanted an NFL team. You guys have been good fans and certainly have supported the Colts, and deserved a team. It was tough at the time with the move, but things roll on. I’ve enjoyed the Ravens as much as the old Baltimore Colts. The hardest thing is we just don’t have a lineal football history. It’s a fractured legacy of two great football eras in Baltimore , divided by 12 years in the NFL desert. 
I may be off base on this, but if I’m an Indy Colts fan, I wouldn’t like looking at Super Bowl records and seeing Baltimore/ Indianapolis Colts 2-2. I would prefer to see 1-1 , with only Indy records since 1984 included. Except for a few fans that followed the Colts ,but weren’t from Baltimore, I’m not sure how many Indy Colts fans care about old Baltimore Colt players ,or the history from that era. I know Jim Irsay likes Baltimore Colts history , but I think it’s more from the point of view of a collector, as he has collected and bought old Baltimore Colts history like a Ringo Starr drum set. I guess you can buy a franchise and collect and own the logos and records , but can really own the history and legacy if you really weren’t part of most of that history ? It’s an interesting question. 

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7 hours ago, The Old Crow said:

We all loved old Memorial Stadium because of all the great memories, but as others have pointed out, it was outdated with many obstructed views. 
I get as an Indy fan you wanted an NFL team. You guys have been good fans and certainly have supported the Colts, and deserved a team. It was tough at the time with the move, but things roll on. I’ve enjoyed the Ravens as much as the old Baltimore Colts. The hardest thing is we just don’t have a lineal football history. It’s a fractured legacy of two great football eras in Baltimore , divided by 12 years in the NFL desert. 
I may be off base on this, but if I’m an Indy Colts fan, I wouldn’t like looking at Super Bowl records and seeing Baltimore/ Indianapolis Colts 2-2. I would prefer to see 1-1 , with only Indy records since 1984 included. Except for a few fans that followed the Colts ,but weren’t from Baltimore, I’m not sure how many Indy Colts fans care about old Baltimore Colt players ,or the history from that era. I know Jim Irsay likes Baltimore Colts history , but I think it’s more from the point of view of a collector, as he has collected and bought old Baltimore Colts history like a Ringo Starr drum set. I guess you can buy a franchise and collect and own the logos and records , but can really own the history and legacy if you really weren’t part of most of that history ? It’s an interesting question. 

The Colts are much more valued to Jim Irsay than just a collection. 

Jim was 12 years old when his father acquired the team. He grew up in and out of the locker room. He trained with those Colts players and loved the team. That's all he has ever known since he was 12 years old.

What he collect's as far as collectables has nothing to do with him owning the Colts. Yes him being an NFL team owner made him the money to be a collector, but not the same thing. 

Jim may have had his personal demons but his love of the team has never wavered. 

 

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On 1/26/2021 at 5:23 AM, Nadine said:

No need to lock.  I didn't mean that.

I didn't know that there were people that didn't know this story.

 

Baltimore fans were heart broken but, these days, everything has worked out for the best.

 

Thankfully

 

Although there is still disagreement on who has rights to the franchise history before the move.  But, even that is fading

 

Time heals

No time doesn't heal . There are a lot of fans to this day that hate the colts 35 years later . I lived up there close . Try and imagine the colts leaving indy now .????

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2 minutes ago, bleed blue 4 life said:

No time doesn't heal . There are a lot of fans to this day that hate the colts 35 years later . I lived up there close . Try and imagine the colts leaving indy now .????

Sad to hear that

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10 hours ago, The Old Crow said:

Al Davis was first , setting into motion the Colts move. 
 

I think with Irsay, he was justified in asking for a new stadium ,as Rosenbloom had. The Baltimore politicians, just as they are today, are tone deaf to business growth. 
 

I think he got a bad rap for a number of reasons. He certainly didn’t get a long with the press, which generally ensures you will be depicted as a bad player. He kind of came in like a bull in a China shop. He traded Unitas after the 1972 season, after promising him he would give him a heads up on any trade. He didn’t , and Unitas never forgave him for that. 

There were many instances where he chewed out players , coaches , etc in public. Jim Irsay’s stories bear me out on this. Against Philadelphia, he actually took over from HC Mike McCormick and started calling plays from the press box. He started shopping the Colts around to other city’s as early as 1977. He made a good hire in Joe Thomas as GM, who led the Colts for three division titles in 75-77, then broke up those teams when he wouldn’t pay the top guys like Jones and Carr. He totally botched the John Elway pick which was one of the worst trades in history. 
 

There were many more stories, but those were some of the highlights. I think Irsay was a businessman who didn’t understand the business of the NFL , as far as putting a consistent winner on the field. What he did excel in was getting maximum value for his investment, which he did in spades. He told the fans at the time that it wasn’t your team, it was his, and his families team. That remark proved to be very true in the end. The bottom line was he wasn’t very PR savvy. There are fascinating videos on line showing an old press conference with Baltimore’s then Mayor Schaefer , Irsay, and the press at BWI airport. The press had followed him and Chernoff to Phoenix, and Irsay was denying he was there. So when you have a hostile press , generally you won’t get a break when a move like that occurs. I think the national press took some of the cues from the Baltimore press that were totally at odds with Irsay. In hindsight, some criticism was fair , some was not. It was a long , complicated story, and it’s all history now. 

Irsay certainly fed into the image of a fat-cat bullying businessman the national media loves to sell.  He was an easy Mark.

 

All of those hot head impulsive instances are symptomatic of an alcoholic, which he was rumored to be.  It's sad that the media would take advantage of that just to sell their narrative.  I think people like him should not have their core personality judged on actions committed while impaired.  He needed real help, as do all who have problems like that.

 

The issues with the stadium were not so much that it was bad, it was compounded by the fact that many other cities had much better stadiums and Baltimore or MD refused to keep up.  

 

I'm not a proponent of using tax payer dollars to fund privately used stadiums, but I guess Baltimore finally got with the program and built a nice facility for the Baltimore Browns (sorry).    

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5 hours ago, DougDew said:

Irsay certainly fed into the image of a fat-cat bullying businessman the national media loves to sell.  He was an easy Mark.

 

All of those hot head impulsive instances are symptomatic of an alcoholic, which he was rumored to be.  It's sad that the media would take advantage of that just to sell their narrative.  I think people like him should not have their core personality judged on actions committed while impaired.  He needed real help, as do all who have problems like that.

 

The issues with the stadium were not so much that it was bad, it was compounded by the fact that many other cities had much better stadiums and Baltimore or MD refused to keep up.  

 

I'm not a proponent of using tax payer dollars to fund privately used stadiums, but I guess Baltimore finally got with the program and built a nice facility for the Baltimore Browns (sorry).    


Very true. We built Camden Yards first for the Orioles, and had the funding for a stadium for an expansion team we never got. That money sat there, and Modell was all over it. 
The Colts leaving definitely spurred Stadium building in Baltimore. 

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8 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

The Colts are much more valued to Jim Irsay than just a collection. 

Jim was 12 years old when his father acquired the team. He grew up in and out of the locker room. He trained with those Colts players and loved the team. That's all he has ever known since he was 12 years old.

What he collect's as far as collectables has nothing to do with him owning the Colts. Yes him being an NFL team owner made him the money to be a collector, but not the same thing. 

Jim may have had his personal demons but his love of the team has never wavered. 

 

The collector aspect I’m referring to is the Baltimore Colts AAFL 47-49, and 1953-1971 when neither Bob or Jim owned the team. 
Jim is a nice guy, and is a great owner for the Indianapolis Colts. He was part of the Baltimore Colt experience from 1972-1983, so I totally get his interest in that. 
We just find it strange in Baltimore when he pulls out the old bucking  horse logo which was before the Irsay’s time, or has Twitter contests for tickets with questions about Big Daddy Lipscomb , who I doubt very few in Indy has ever heard of. 
I just don’t see other owners infatuated by the old city’s history where the team used to play. I can appreciate Jim’s expertise and interest  in NFL history, but to me, he is the steward of Baltimore Colt’s history 72-83, and of course, the fine Indianapolis Colts history of today. The early Baltimore Colt history is the legacy of the Rosenbloom family. 
Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m a current Indy Colts fan, the old Baltimore history of Unitas or Berry, just wouldn’t excite me because they didn’t play in my city, or I wasn’t a fan at the time. The only interest would be as an NFL history buff. As I said earlier , I don’t think one person in Baltimore who is an Orioles fan, is touting and excited about  that 1944 St Louis Browns pennant. It’s in our records , but it shouldn’t be. In the future, they should really let the old history die in that city, and let the new city start fresh, where your current star’s records aren’t mixed in with a bunch of guys most fans in the new city have ever heard of. 
 

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1 hour ago, The Old Crow said:

The collector aspect I’m referring to is the Baltimore Colts AAFL 47-49, and 1953-1971 when neither Bob or Jim owned the team. 
Jim is a nice guy, and is a great owner for the Indianapolis Colts. He was part of the Baltimore Colt experience from 1972-1983, so I totally get his interest in that. 
We just find it strange in Baltimore when he pulls out the old bucking  horse logo which was before the Irsay’s time, or has Twitter contests for tickets with questions about Big Daddy Lipscomb , who I doubt very few in Indy has ever heard of. 
I just don’t see other owners infatuated by the old city’s history where the team used to play. I can appreciate Jim’s expertise and interest  in NFL history, but to me, he is the steward of Baltimore Colt’s history 72-83, and of course, the fine Indianapolis Colts history of today. The early Baltimore Colt history is the legacy of the Rosenbloom family. 
Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m a current Indy Colts fan, the old Baltimore history of Unitas or Berry, just wouldn’t excite me because they didn’t play in my city, or I wasn’t a fan at the time. The only interest would be as an NFL history buff. As I said earlier , I don’t think one person in Baltimore who is an Orioles fan, is touting and excited about  that 1944 St Louis Browns pennant. It’s in our records , but it shouldn’t be. In the future, they should really let the old history die in that city, and let the new city start fresh, where your current star’s records aren’t mixed in with a bunch of guys most fans in the new city have ever heard of. 
 

The Colts history actually started 23 years before Baltimore in 1930 under various names. 

Dayton Triangles, Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Yanks. 

The Miami Seahawks were the team that relocated to Baltimore but was dissolved in 1951. 

Then the Dallas Texans relocated to Baltimore in 1953. (so Baltimore took them from Dallas) 

So in reality the Colts did not originate in Baltimore. 

My point is most all of the NFL teams moved from somewhere else. 

Buffalo NY, Chicago Il, Cleveland Oh and Detroit are the only NFL cities that were original.

 

 

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10 hours ago, DougDew said:

Irsay certainly fed into the image of a fat-cat bullying businessman the national media loves to sell.  He was an easy Mark.

 

All of those hot head impulsive instances are symptomatic of an alcoholic, which he was rumored to be.  It's sad that the media would take advantage of that just to sell their narrative.  I think people like him should not have their core personality judged on actions committed while impaired.  He needed real help, as do all who have problems like that.

 

The issues with the stadium were not so much that it was bad, it was compounded by the fact that many other cities had much better stadiums and Baltimore or MD refused to keep up.  

 

I'm not a proponent of using tax payer dollars to fund privately used stadiums, but I guess Baltimore finally got with the program and built a nice facility for the Baltimore Browns (sorry).    

BOB Irsay was a terrible owner. JIM Irsay is one of the best.  

 

Bob was drunk in the stands when he told reporters that he would sign on to a new stadium if the Orioles would (and they had already done so).  The next day, when reporters asked him to confirm that- he denied that he would ever have said it.

 

Rochelle approved the move, and I suspect he quietly told Bob to give Jim more control,IMO...

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2 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

The Colts history actually started 23 years before Baltimore in 1930 under various names. 

Dayton Triangles, Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Yanks. 

The Miami Seahawks were the team that relocated to Baltimore but was dissolved in 1951. 

Then the Dallas Texans relocated to Baltimore in 1953. (so Baltimore took them from Dallas) 

So in reality the Colts did not originate in Baltimore. 

My point is most all of the NFL teams moved from somewhere else. 

Buffalo NY, Chicago Il, Cleveland Oh and Detroit are the only NFL cities that were original.

 

 


That is true, and a nice breakdown of Colt’s history. The difference is in the early days, most of the teams in these cities went bankrupt, which is why they moved. That was not the situation in Baltimore, as the team was still very profitable , but not as profitable as Bob Irsay wanted. I would also say that Baltimore helped make the NFL with constant sellouts in the 50’s and 60’s when that was somewhat of a rarity. Add to the fact that the Baltimore Colts were directly involved in two of the most important games in NFL history that made the league, the 58 Championship game, and Super Bowl 3. That is why the Baltimore Colts will never be forgotten like the Dallas Texans or Miami Seahawks. 

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22 minutes ago, jimmy g said:

BOB Irsay was a terrible owner. JIM Irsay is one of the best.  

 

Bob was drunk in the stands when he told reporters that he would sign on to a new stadium if the Orioles would (and they had already done so).  The next day, when reporters asked him to confirm that- he denied that he would ever have said it.

 

Rochelle approved the move, and I suspect he quietly told Bob to give Jim more control,IMO...

I’m glad Jim didn’t end up like his dad. He’s a bit of a corny guy, but the things he does are very fan friendly. 
There are a million interesting stories about Bob. I actually ran into him myself at Memorial Stadium. It was interesting to say the least. I saw Jim hanging around the stadium in the 70’s. Many of those 70’s Colts are very complimentary about Jim. 
Unfortunately for us in Baltimore , we have Peter Angelos and sons with the Orioles, who are almost as bad an owner as Bob was. 
It’s amazing that Bob Irsay is in the Colts Ring of Honor, and Art Modell is in the Ravens Ring of Honor. We also have Ernest Byner in there for some reason, but Ernest is a great guy. Met him at the Ed Block awards. 

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On 1/26/2021 at 11:28 AM, Nesjan3 said:

Time cures all. Baltimore fans were mad understandably so they lost their team. I dont think it was public knowledge at the time that the city was attempting to some what illegally seize the team. 

 

Although it is funny as heck that some STILL remain upset to this day given that this info has become public knowledge. As well as others have mentioned the Colts have been in Indy longer than Baltimore at this point and Bal embraced a new team from another city, Its kind of contradictory to cheer for the current Ravens and still be upset about the old colts, but those people are out their.

 

I'v had some great conversations with Old Baltimore Colts fans & I understand how at the time they were made & so they  took all the hate out on Bob Irsay who was a easy person to dislike however there was a threat & as a business a decision had to be made  . The Stadium was a multi purpose Baseball & Football & it was a mess & the State Legislators would do lil or they voted against funds for improvement & threatened to take the team thru eminent domain . 

 

Baltimore played hard ball & Bob Irsay did what any NFL Team Owner would do he moved its happened to many cities , Chargers Rams Raiders just the latest .  I'm sure there fans were unhappy but the teams must do what's best for the team 

 

Clearly Bob Irsay did he got out while he could saving the family business & the Colts who's  new home became the Hoosier Dome renamed the RCA Dome & now the house that Peyton built L.O.S  . 

 

So thanks to Baltimore Politicians  the Indianapolis Colts found a new home  while Baltimore cried foul & kept the Colts Lombardi Trophy which I believe they still have .  WHY I might ask ? So

 

The City of Baltimore talked Modell into leaving Cleveland ironic is it not '  they promised a new stadium for there newly acquired NFL team the Ravens & they Win a SB  . Congrats Baltimore you proved a valuable point a City who is not a good partner with the franchise will not keep one ' 

 

History is often ignored in this story for me the true story was the Browns .  While we have had this conversation many times over the years not everyone knows the history so its good to be able to talk about it from time to time .

 

 

 

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On 1/28/2021 at 3:41 PM, The Old Crow said:

The collector aspect I’m referring to is the Baltimore Colts AAFL 47-49, and 1953-1971 when neither Bob or Jim owned the team. 
Jim is a nice guy, and is a great owner for the Indianapolis Colts. He was part of the Baltimore Colt experience from 1972-1983, so I totally get his interest in that. 
We just find it strange in Baltimore when he pulls out the old bucking  horse logo which was before the Irsay’s time, or has Twitter contests for tickets with questions about Big Daddy Lipscomb , who I doubt very few in Indy has ever heard of. 
I just don’t see other owners infatuated by the old city’s history where the team used to play. I can appreciate Jim’s expertise and interest  in NFL history, but to me, he is the steward of Baltimore Colt’s history 72-83, and of course, the fine Indianapolis Colts history of today. The early Baltimore Colt history is the legacy of the Rosenbloom family. 
Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m a current Indy Colts fan, the old Baltimore history of Unitas or Berry, just wouldn’t excite me because they didn’t play in my city, or I wasn’t a fan at the time. The only interest would be as an NFL history buff. As I said earlier , I don’t think one person in Baltimore who is an Orioles fan, is touting and excited about  that 1944 St Louis Browns pennant. It’s in our records , but it shouldn’t be. In the future, they should really let the old history die in that city, and let the new city start fresh, where your current star’s records aren’t mixed in with a bunch of guys most fans in the new city have ever heard of. 
 

  The Colts have a long history Ol buddy  as a franchise it does not stop at state lines the states are were they call home . The Raiders for example multiple cities different states one history .  The Colts cannot be separated from team history its all about the HORSE SHOE on the helmet , I welcome your thoughts , 

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23 minutes ago, ÅÐØNϧ 1 said:

  The Colts have a long history Ol buddy  as a franchise it does not stop at state lines the states are were they call home . The Raiders for example multiple cities different states one history .  The Colts cannot be separated from team history its all about the HORSE SHOE on the helmet , I welcome your thoughts , 


I understand that point of view. I guess the point I’m making is when a franchise moves from a city where that football history occurs, is the new city really interested in that history and records that occurred in another city ? 
Most were fans of another team, never attended a game, never saw those players play, never were part of those records and championships. 
Technically , they belong to the franchise, but are Indy fans really invested in old Baltimore Colts history ? The horse shoe is the same , but the two cities and football histories couldn’t be more different. 
I just think when a franchise moves, it just muddies the history of the current team. Why have the history when Baltimore Colt banners aren’t hung in Indy, or Jim Irsay puts one diamond in the 2006 ring instead of two. It’s just my opinion, but I say leave the history where it happened. As I stated earlier, we have weird St Louis Browns records in with the Baltimore Orioles. Why ? Just retire them to St Louis. I would rather start from 1954, or 1984, in the case of the Colts. 

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18 minutes ago, The Old Crow said:


I understand that point of view. I guess the point I’m making is when a franchise moves from a city where that football history occurs, is the new city really interested in that history and records that occurred in another city ? 
Most were fans of another team, never attended a game, never saw those players play, never were part of those records and championships. 
Technically , they belong to the franchise, but are Indy fans really invested in old Baltimore Colts history ? The horse shoe is the same , but the two cities and football histories couldn’t be more different. 
I just think when a franchise moves, it just muddies the history of the current team. Why have the history when Baltimore Colt banners aren’t hung in Indy, or Jim Irsay puts one diamond in the 2006 ring instead of two. It’s just my opinion, but I say leave the history where it happened. As I stated earlier, we have weird St Louis Browns records in with the Baltimore Orioles. Why ? Just retire them to St Louis. I would rather start from 1954, or 1984, in the case of the Colts. 

You keep saying history. 

You can't overlook, forget or act like a team had no history. 

If that were the case then their would only 6 or 7 teams that would considered to have a history. 

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52 minutes ago, ÅÐØNϧ 1 said:

 

I'v had some great conversations with Old Baltimore Colts fans & I understand how at the time they were made & so they  took all the hate out on Bob Irsay who was a easy person to dislike however there was a threat & as a business a decision had to be made  . The Stadium was a multi purpose Baseball & Football & it was a mess & the State Legislators would do lil or they voted against funds for improvement & threatened to take the team thru eminent domain . 

 

Baltimore played hard ball & Bob Irsay did what any NFL Team Owner would do he moved its happened to many cities , Chargers Rams Raiders just the latest .  I'm sure there fans were unhappy but the teams must do what's best for the team 

 

Clearly Bob Irsay did he got out while he could saving the family business & the Colts who's  new home became the Hoosier Dome renamed the RCA Dome & now the house that Peyton built L.O.S  . 

 

So thanks to Baltimore Politicians  the Indianapolis Colts found a new home  while Baltimore cried foul & kept the Colts Lombardi Trophy which I believe they still have .  WHY I might ask ? So

 

The City of Baltimore talked Modell into leaving Cleveland ironic is it not '  they promised a new stadium for there newly acquired NFL team the Ravens & they Win a SB  . Congrats Baltimore you proved a valuable point a City who is not a good partner with the franchise will not keep one ' 

 

History is often ignored in this story for me the true story was the Browns .  While we have had this conversation many times over the years not everyone knows the history so its good to be able to talk about it from time to time .

 

 

 


With the Baltimore politicians, they have lost many more businesses than just the Baltimore Colts. It’s basically a history of incompetence. 
As I said, I wasn’t crazy about the way we got the Browns. It worked out great for us, but crappy for Cleveland for many reasons. We should have gotten an expansion franchise, but didn’t. The one thing I’m glad about is we didn’t get Cleveland history. As a Baltimore fan, I’m not going to pretend that Cleveland’s history was rightfully mine, because I have the “ For the Paul Brown orange logo helmet ,” in Baltimore. I was an opposing fan for the 1964 and 1968 Championship games, wasn’t part of the Otto Graham AAFL Championships, never saw those Hall of Famers play, etc. I’m glad it was a clean break from Cleveland Browns history. 
As far as the Super Bowl 5 trophy, that was part of the agreement between Irsay and the City of Baltimore. The replica was awarded to Baltimore per agreement ,and lies in the Babe Ruth museum. However, if I was Indy, I would go after the original that was plundered by Rosenbloom / Frontiere. Finding the original is akin to finding the “ National Treasure. “ It’s probably sitting in some den in St Louis. 

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Just now, crazycolt1 said:

You keep saying history. 

You can't overlook, forget or act like a team had no history. 

If that were the case then their would only 6 or 7 teams that would considered to have no history. 

Certainly a great point, but those early days teams just went bankrupt and died. For example , the 47-49 Baltimore Colts are not part of the Indy franchise , but the 1953-1983 is. Let’s use the Houston Oilers. Why not just leave that history in Houston and start fresh in Tennessee ? Wouldn’t it be better for Texans fans, who were also Oilers fans, to enjoy that history they watched , rooted for, and were part of ?

Isn’t it better for Warren Moon and Earl Campbell to be celebrated in Houston, the city they played, had relationships with fans, and perhaps lived, or Nashville , where they never played a down ? Same for Kurt Warner and the St Louis Rams ? It creates interesting scenarios. 

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